Francis is widely considered a good leader. His peers agree, and he is relatively successful at work. Every morning Francis goes to the gym, has a good workout, and gets to work early. He says hello to his people and sits at his computer to check his email and see what the day has in store. He responds to a few late emails, adds additional tasks to his growing list, and starts to work from the top of the list.
Like many of us, Francis could be more deliberate in his approach to his daily work life, which means he cannot practice deliberate leadership. He is almost entirely reactive and only works to keep his head above water. Many of us are very familiar with this life. We have seen it before. Whether in our own lives or the lives of our peers.
What do you do about it? You must change your frame of mind from reactionary to deliberate. The difference is like being pulled by unknown forces in an unknown direction (reactionary) to decide what direction to go in purposefully and taking action to support that decision. Once you adjust your frame of mind, you will stop feeling like you are in a boat without a paddle but will feel like you have a new engine and can do what you want. You will feel empowered and in control.
One of the keys to this is to communicate. Communicate with your key team members. They are essential to determining the vision of your organization or section. Once you have developed a vision or mission, talk to your boss so she knows your vision and direction. You must get the green light from the organization’s leader because she is responsible for the organization’s overall performance and will want to ensure your vision is in line with and supports the organization’s vision.
The best way to get started is to dedicate a certain amount of time to focus and work extra hard to clear your plate of all work and projects. You will want a clean slate to start. Once you have a relatively clean slate, you will have the flexibility to work on different things aligned with your new vision.
Create goals and a strategy to be able to reach your new vision. The goals and strategy are a must to get the team on the same page. Finally, communicate with everyone as much as possible. Your people should be familiar with the strategy, vision, and goals. Take every opportunity to reinforce your message.
Being deliberate means taking control of the organization or whatever piece you can control and not letting it determine everything you do. You must take control and deliberately develop your employees. You must deliberately drive the culture of the organization. Take small, deliberate steps. Your people will follow if they know “why” you are doing it. The “why” of your efforts must be a good reason.